Despite public appearances together, denying rumors of a crumbled marriage, and overcoming Jada’s entanglement with August Alsina, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith have long ended their romance.
Jada and Will allegedly separated in 2016 after more than 20 years of marriage. While there hasn’t been a filed divorce, the hot-topic couple have lived “separate lives” for the last seven years. This includes living in separate spaces.
Jada Pinkett Smith Explains Why She & Will Smith Kept Their Separation Private
Jada deep-dived into their separation in an interview with Hoda Kotb on TODAY, but she first revealed the news in her upcoming memoir “Worthy.” When Kotb asked why they publicly withheld their separation, Jada said it was about readiness.
“I think just not being ready yet, still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership. And in regards to how do we present that to people and we hadn’t figured that out,” Jada Pinkett Smith responded.
In another part of their interview, Jada told Kotb what she believes fractured her marriage to Will. The former couple wed in 1997 and welcomed their first son, Jaden, the following year. Their daughter Willow was born in 2016.
“Why it fractured, that’s a lot of things. By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both still kind of stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” Jada revealed.
Though Jada Pinkett Smith “considered” a legal divorce, the actress, author, and talk show host says she couldn’t bring herself to file.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through whatever, and I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”
In TODAY’s exclusive clip, a teaser to Friday’s one-hour special, Kotb says Will and Jada have not called each other husband and wife in private since their separation.
In an exclusive clip from her upcoming @NBCNews primetime special with @HodaKotb, Jada Pinkett Smith reveals her current relationship status with Will Smith, ahead of the release of Pinkett Smith’s memoir “Worthy.” pic.twitter.com/hMoAwi3ETz
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) October 11, 2023
You’ll recall Jada and Will previously discussed their marriage and her entanglement with August on her former talk show, “Red Table Talk.” In the 2020 episode, the pair revealed they had been “going through a very difficult time,” leading to Jada and August’s brief romance. Will said he was “done” with Jada at the time, and she added that Will “kicked [her] to the curb” and that they “broke up.”
But in reality, the couple had already been separated — just not to the public.
Jada also discussed her separation from Will in a separate interview with PEOPLE. As for where they stand now, she says they’re “still figuring it out.”
“We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together. We just got deep love for each other, and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us,” Pinkett said.
Jada Reveals What She Said To Will Smith After He Slapped Chris Rock On Live TV
In the PEOPLE interview, Jada also touched on the Oscars slap seen (and replayed) worldwide in 2022. Moments before Will accepted the Academy Award for Best Actor, he walked on stage from the audience and slapped host Chris Rock after the comedian joked about Jada’s shaved head. The actress was previously diagnosed with alopecia.
His comment, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” and videos of the moment were viral for months on social media. He later publicly apologized to Chris.
RELATED: Will Smith Apologizes To The Academy And His Fellow Nominees Following Physical Altercation With Chris Rock
Now, like most of the world at the time, Jada admits that she first thought the interaction was a “skit.”
“I thought, ‘This is a skit,” she said. “I was like, ‘There’s no way that Will hit him.’ It wasn’t until Will started to walk back to his chair that I even realized it wasn’t a skit.”
She says the first thing she asked Will after he sat back down was, “Are you okay?” In another part of the book, Jada allegedly revealed she was “shocked” to hear Will call her his wife because they hadn’t “called each other husband and wife for a long time.”
In an additional clip, Pinkett told Hoda Kotb that Chris Rock told her he meant no harm following the slap but that she was “out of it” and focused on Will. She revealed that she told the comedian, “This is about some old sh*t.” Meanwhile, Will was allegedly agitated by her and Chris speaking. As a result, Jada says she wasn’t able to fully embrace Rock’s apology.
However, she did add that the action was out of his character.
Swipe below to see additional takeaways from her forthcoming book.